Free Resources

Although most of the content available on these websites can be used for free, it is recommended that you cite all materials that don’t belong to you in your courses. It’s also important to read any licensing information provided with the content before using it. The Copyright Office at York University runs information sessions on copyright practices and will also review materials you are thinking of using in your courses to ensure compliance with the Copyright Act of Canada.  They also have a guide on how to use free content in courses. Contact their office for more information. As well, if you are unfamiliar with Creative Commons licensing read this post.


This is the image of a desert

Photo, “desert ” by JPeter2 on Pixabay, available under a Pixabay license / Re-sized from original

This is an image of wildflowers.

Photo, “Wild Flowers“, by Pixel2013 on Pixabay, available under a Pixabay license / Re-sized from original

The following websites have a variety of images
Flickr (Search for Creative Commons License)
Pics For Learning 
Pik Wizard


Getty Open Content Program
Over 100,000 images from the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute  including more than 72,000 from the Research Institute’s Foto Arte Minore archive.  Other content  include photographs, artists’ sketchbooks, watercolors, rare prints from the 16th through the 18th century, and 19th-century architectural drawings of cultural landmarks.
British Library
Over one million images have been released on Flickr Commons.  Available for anyone to use, remix and re-purpose.
Toronto Public Library Digital Archive
Many images contained in these archives can be downloaded and reproduced in print or electronic format for educational and research use.

Industry/Business Images

Quirky/Artistic Images

Nature/Landscapes Images
Free Nature Stock

Images from countries/cities around the world


This is clip art, One person is presenting and two people are watching the presentation.

Clip art, “Workplace Training“, by j4p4N on Openclipart, available under the an Openclipart license / Resized from original.

Open Clip Art
Vecteezy (Icons as well)
Public Domain Clip Art

Freepik  (also backgrounds, photos and patterns)
Icons for Everything


This is an image of a microphone

Photo, “Black Recording Microphone“, by on Pexels, available under a Pexels license / Resized from original.

Pond 5
Purple Planet Music 
CC Mixter  (re-mixing of tracks is allowed)
MobyGratis  (150 tracks of Moby’s music that can be used for independent, non-profit films, videos and shorts)

Sound Effects
Free Sound Effects
Sound Jay
Partners in Rhyme (stock music as well)
Sound Gator
Audio Micro (stock music as well)


This is an image of two people watching a video on a laptop

Photo, “Two Person watching video on laptop“, by on Pexels, available under a Pexels license / Resized from original.

Life of Vids
XStock Video

Other websites with free resources

National Science Digital Library
Smithsonian Research Online
Chemistry Collective
Open Access Artworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Process Arts (Online community for sharing art, design and media projects)
CBC Digital Archives
Library and Archives Canada
National Film Board
Radio Garden – Interactive map of live radio stations across the globe
List to the 42 Best Educational Podcasts in 2018
Museum Views – Virtual Tours of Museums  through Google
Virtual Museum of Canada 

Open Educational Resources

Photo, “Person drawing on paper“,  by on Pexels, available under a Pexels license / Resized from original

Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational teaching materials that are found online.  An OER may be a textbook, a lesson plan, a multimedia project, a documentary or even an assignment sheet. Most OERs are free to use and modify for your own use.

For more info on OERs please go to this link.

For examples of OERs at York University and beyond, go to this link.